From the war on drugs to viable solutions of drug trafficking in MexicoBy Aram BarraINTRODUCTION
Throughout this paper I will tackle the drug trafficking problematic in the particular case of Mexico, and all the implications that it brings along with it. I will utilize a ‘globalization’perspective in order to further understand the subject, and be able to propose viablesolutions for it. Thus, it is important to explain the idea of globalization that will be used allthe way through this paper.
Globalization, as a theory, argues that states and societies are increasingly being'disciplined' to behave as if they were private markets operating in a global territory (Gill).It is in that sense that the market of drugs acts accordingly and grows in a global dynamicthat behaves equally worldwide.It is not news that liberalizing markets eases the selling of products abroad, makingexports and imports a common task. It is in that same note that we part from the idea thatdrugs, as any other market that has an offer and a demand, can undergo thecharacteristics of liberalization and globalization. Thus, drug trafficking is a problem thataffects the entire world and not only Mexico. In the specific case of the Americas, from losAndes to the United States, drug smuggling affects us all. Moreover, the problematic hasto be treated with all the implications that such a rooted topic can carry along.This specific illegal market sees no difficulty in Latin America since it is one of the worldregions that lack so-called ‘institutionalization’. When new strategies appear on behalf of the government, new tactics are also applies by cartels around the world. In the Americas,this last refers to a reaction to proceedings taken to effect such as Plan Colombia. Thus,cartels have suffered a transformation in the past eight years, since the plan came intoeffect, turning into institutions themselves that act through smaller cartels; in contrast withearlier years.Actions and policies taken by former president Vicente Fox, modified the traditionalscenery of cartels in Mexico. The disappearance of the Arellano Felix cartel in Tijuana andthe Chapo Guzmán cartel in Sinaloa are just some examples of this. Furthermore, areorganization of strategies and tactics respond on behalf of cartels, through smaller cartels and ‘narcoretail’ in this case.Nevertheless, as said before, Mexico is not alone and it is not a unique case. The trade of illegal drugs is a multi-billion dollar global business. Worldwide, the UN estimates there aremore than 50 million regular users of heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs (BBC News).Therefore, if the market for illegal drugs were to really disappear, Mexico would not be thefirst to put a war against it, but it also would suffer the swing of such part of the economyas a producer and exporter of the market.Drug trafficking is not an American disease, as it is commonly said, and it is not a problemonly of producers and exporters either. If the international community really wants to makea war on drugs (which would be a first question that would be needed to be asked) thereare many strategies and actions that have to be taken in parallel. There is no uniquesolution and there is no unilateral action that will ever be able to solve the problem.